Reader Question: Combo Rain Jacket + Coat for Ireland in Winter?

Reader question: Coat plus rain jacket combo for Ireland in winter?

Not too long ago, I received an email from Missy asking about packing for her upcoming trip to Ireland in winter.

I love all the packing advice and lists you have. It has helped me in my planning for my trip to Ireland this year. I am going in Dec. Is a combo rain/winter jacket a good idea? I don’t want to overpack.

Given what I know about Ireland, I figured this would be a good idea, but I decided to take this to the Facebook community to get some responses:

I’d suggest layers.

“Was just in rainy Orkney and northern Scotland – I’d suggest layers. A silk or thermal inner shirt, regular shirt(s), light fleece and rain ad wind resistant jacket. Perhaps a SCOTTEVEST? Layers are so much easier as you can peel them off when you go in and out of buildings. Don’t forget the waterproof shoes!”
-Julie Norman

Coming from a Canadian…

“Coming from a Canadian living in British Columbia where we have very similar seasonal weather to Ireland and the UK I would say a combo waterproof jacket would be ideal. That way you can wear the waterproof portion in the fall and then when winter comes you can wear the warmer zip in liner as well. I’d also recommend a really light waterproof windbreaker type jacket. Those are ultra lightweight and easy to pack.”
– Loraul Amber Volk

Function over fashion!

“I am going to Ireland in November. Thanks for the advice about coats. I know know which one I am wearing. Function over fashion!”
– Peggy Renner-Howell

Just got done packing for Ireland.

“You definitely want a waterproof jacket and if you’re only bringing one it should also be insulated to keep you warmer than just a rain jacket. You wouldn’t be over packing because it will definitely rain and definitely be chilly. (I brought a water-resistant shell and a rain jacket-splurge because we will be here a whole month.)”
– Our Favorite Adventure

All about puffy down jackets.

“Just about all of them come with a stuff sack or allow you to zip it up in one of the front pockets. Usually not waterproof so get yourself a light rain shell which will also pack down very small.”
– Sam Courtain

Rainy when not freezing.

“I live in Belgium, so we have more or less similar weather to Ireland. The weather in Ireland during winter is ALWAYS cold, and OFTEN rainy (rainy when not freezing)! So I think your combo will do well. Warm shoes or boots are advisable.”
– Marianne Roman

I would go with a puffy coat and…

“I would go with a puffy coat and a rain jacket. That way if it’s warmer and all you need is a rain jacket you don’t need to worry about it. And make sure the pockets on whatever you buy zip up, as pickpockets are an issue, especially in Dublin.”
– Kristine Quint

Always worth wearing the combo…

“Totally with Loraul on that one… it gets cold! (And generally rains… a lot). Always worth wearing the combo so you can de-layer when necessary.”
– Toni-Marie Popel

Quick dry layers

“I agree with Loraul – and don’t forget to pack light, quick-dry layers for those colder days!”
– Kathryn Murphy

What would you recommend for Missy? Let us know in the comments.

Written by Brooke

I run the show at Her Packing List and love packing ultralight. In fact, I once traveled for 3 entire weeks with just the contents of a well-packed 12L handbag. When I'm not obsessing over luggage weight, I'm producing episodes of The UnPacking List or just snuggling with my pet rabbit, Sherlock Bunz.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Kimberly says

    If you plan on walking outside a lot, I’d suggest something that was waterproof and came to your knees, just for the sake of comfort.

    Eddie Bauer has a great waterproof “trench” that has worked well for my travels (they have two versions of the Girl on the Go trench, one with and without insulation that is removable). Also, stick to synthetic materials, and not down. Down takes way too long to dry, while something with synthetic insulation will keep you warm if it gets wet (and your body heat will help dry it out faster also) and maintains packability.

    Chalk my knowledge up to working too long for Patagonia 🙂


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